This was a short but wonderful hike above the peaceful Newlands Valley on an October afternoon. I walked over Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head and Hindscarth, all coming under the heading of the Derwent Fells. Although I hurried up one ridge and down another, walking and running, with little time to pause and take in the glorious views, this is an ideal route for a full-day walk. It's close to Keswick in the heart of the Lake District so there are mountains visible in all directions. Although Newlands Valley itself has no lake, there is a splendid outlook to the east over Derwentwater whilst the middle section of the walk provides views of Buttermere.
Catbells can also be enjoyed on a short circular walk, combining a short stiff climb with a tranquil walk along the banks of Derwentwater or through Newlands Valley, either one lasting two or three hours.
- I'll remember most the dog, Rhona, who accompanied me on my walk
- The best bit was the view from Catbells, after a short climb
- The worst bit was having to hurry to finish in daylight
- I was shocked to find that I last walked this route 39 years ago!
- This is a great example of the circular ridge walks which can be enjoyed in the Lake District
- Word of warning to others - the descent off Hindscarth down Scope End is rough, rocky and slippery in places
- I also got a reminder that it's well worth listening to the radio for traffic updates when driving to the start of a walk, to avoid holdups.
Contributed by Andrew Llanwarne - October 2010
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|Location||3 miles south of Keswick, on the western side of Derwentwater, in the north-east of the Lake District|
|Date walked||7 October 2010|
|Walk type||High hills and mountain hikes|
|Difficulty||Requires a good level of fitness and strong footwear|
|Distance||18km / 11 miles|
|Height climbed||1065m / 3500 ft approx|
|Time taken||3 hrs 45 mins|
|Map used||OS English Lakes North-West Sheet, 1:25,000 Outdoor Leisure Map|
|Walk source info||Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book Six, the North Western Fells|
|Getting there||Drove to the Swinside Inn from the A66 via Portinscale, near Keswick|
|Places to stay||Swinside Inn, Newlands Valley. Plenty of other places in Braithwaite, Portinscale and Keswick|